.- It has to be one of the more unusual legacies of the World Day for Peace in Assisi but the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See is now the proud owner of a little white dove called Chiara, or rather, his 7-year-old son Miguel is.
“We’ve been to Assisi a number of times and on one of those trips the Franciscan friars promised my son he could have a dove but, at that point, they were not quite ready to give it away,” Ambassador Miguel Diaz explained to CNA on Oct. 28.
Yesterday, though, the doves were finally ready and gainfully employed during the day’s ceremonies, which involved speeches by Pope Benedict and other religious leaders and an opportunity for everyone to re-commit to global peace.
“So one of the friars asked us, my wife Marian and I, if we wanted to bring a dove home.” They both said yes and quickly named the bird – which they believe to be female – Chiara in honor of St. Clare of Assisi, the great spiritual companion of St. Francis.
“So our 7-year-old is, of course, very, very happy,” said the ambassador, explaining that Chiara spent her first night in the Diaz household sleeping in Miguel, Jr.’s bedroom.
As it happens, the Diaz family – Miguel, Marian and their four children – recently received a new dog, a collie puppy named Cappuccino. Chiara, though, will very much belong to young Miguel.
“So he now has a little dove to take care of,” said his dad, “and it is a symbol of peace and as symbol of caregiving that will provide a little child with a responsibility for one of God’s creatures.”
Ambassador Diaz said that the day in Assisi had been “wonderful.” His delegation included the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, Suzan Johnson Cook. Joining them were over 300 delegates from 50 countries around the world.
“Whenever we think of the name of St. Francis of Assisi, at least for me, we think of peace, justice and interfaith dialogue,” he said, “and these are three very important things that we know we need today.”